Monday, August 30, 2010

The Iraq withdrawal a solid administration accomplishment

by Joel Wendland

The latest post by Earl Ofari Hutchinson at Huffington Post deflects what he calls unreasonable criticisms of the President's Iraq policy from the left.

Much has been made by some critics that the scheduled Iraq withdrawal is much less than meets the eye. Their points of criticism are that 50,000 troops will stay in the country, at a cost of billions more of US tax dollars, and there's no firm guarantee that they'll go packing, one and all, any time soon. The biggest criticism, though, is that President Obama fudged on his campaign promise to end the war and remove all troops from the country by May 2010. He made the promise more than two years ago during the campaign, and when he made it he was careful to note that he meant withdrawal of combat troops. By ending the war he meant ending American direct involvement in ground action. But many progressives and antiwar Democrats took his "end the war" pledge too literally; the nuances were either ignored, tuned out, or in a euphoric and wildly hopeful moment distorted.

The Iraq withdrawal by any measure is a solid administration accomplishment. The six year ground war with US troops taking casualties, inflicting death and destruction on towns and villages, and heavy collateral damage, i.e. civilian deaths, stirred international, and regional hatred of the US, and reaffirmed the US image as the bully boy of the world. The war was a colossal domestic and international disaster, and the mountainous lies and deception that Team Bush used to get and keep the US in Iraq will be a permanent mark of historical disgrace and shame on the Bush legacy.
The 50,000 or so troops that will stay in the country is unfortunate, but a necessity. The final withdrawal date of December 2011 spelled out in the US-Iraqi treaty for the 50,000 can easily be shaken by any number of events and contingencies, the worst one being, a full blown descent into factional religious or civil war in the country with the US forces caught in the middle. The troops are there supposedly to see that that doesn't happen and the training, intelligence and transportation and logistical support, supply for the Iraqi is intended to do just that.

Read the whole post here.

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